Memoirs and Prayer

For the ordinary worshipper, the rewards of a lifetime of faithful praying comes at unpredictable times, scattered through the years, when all at once the liturgy glows with fire.   Herman Wouk, This is My God

There are many reasons I would never write a memoir, good or otherwise, not the least of which is that nobody wants to hear about a skinny sixteen year old driving to a 7-11 in a Phoenix strip mall to buy a Slurpee; it’s uniquely devoid of a dramatic arc.  And many of the best memoirs seem to grow from lives of horrible dysfunction. Two recent reads – Mary Karr’s, The Liars’ Club and Tobias Wolff’s, This Boy’s Life –  follow the young authors as they navigate, barely, the wreckage of profoundly broken families. And yet Karr and Wolff survive, and as a result they are deeply observant, soft to moments of grace and beauty. Maybe that’s what Buechner meant when he preached that, “grace breaks through the fissures of our life.”  Topic for another post, someday. Continue reading